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Michael Callahan Quoted on Patient Safety Act Privilege Decision

Firm News | July 23, 2018

Health Care partner Michael Callahan was quoted in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on a recent 1st District Appellate panel decision that federal law protects from discovery patient incident reports which are collected and sent to federally listed patient safety organizations (PSO). The decision stemmed from a suit filed against Ingalls Memorial Hospital alleging malpractice in the eventual death of a patient. The record disclosed that the hospital, in compliance with the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PSQIA), had prepared two incident reports relating to the patient's care and another one dealing with a family complaint in its continual efforts to analyze and improve patient care. The panel determined that because the hospital created those documents for the sole purpose of reporting them to and, in fact, were reported, the documents could not be produced during discovery.

Michael, who represented Clarity in a supporting amicus brief and assisted the hospital's defense attorney in its appeal, noted that there is a nationwide dearth of case law dealing with these issues because medical-malpractice cases often settle before they reach the appellate level. He stated, "[The ruling is a] positive case that might influence courts in other jurisdictions that have not interpreted these statutes." ("1st District Panel Keeps Patient Safety Reports Sealed," July 11, 2018)

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